By support

11th Aug, 2017 | 2:37pm

'He is someone I can trust' - Benitez places importance on Newcastle 23-year-old

By Abigail Withey 

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has heaped praise on skipper Jamaal Lascelles for his mentality and passion during a pre-match media conference on Friday.

The Toon manager stated that he trusted the Magpies’ captain ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Tottenham at St. James’ Park.

Benitez commented on the way the 23-year-old behaves towards other members of the squad by pushing and supporting his fellow team mates as their leader on the pitch.

Under the young centre-back’s leadership last season, the Tyneside outfit climbed to the top of the Championship table and saw a return to the Premier League after being relegated in the previous campaign.

“(Jamaal) has the mentality and passion that you are looking for in any player, and he’s helping the new players to settle down,” said the Spanish manager, as quoted by Newcastle’s official Twitter account on Friday.

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“He is someone I can trust in terms of the way he behaves and the way he pushes others.”

After starting out at Nottingham Forest’s academy and growing through the ranks, the Newcastle captain has shown drive and determination since moving to Newcastle in 2014.

His passion to succeed was noticed by Benitez early on which was rewarded by being handed the captain’s armband at such a young age.

The defender has always spoken openly about his team’s performance, and his frankness made him a favourite among Toon supporters.

Bentitez will be hoping that Lascelles can help guide new recruits Mikel Merino, Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune, Javier Manquillo and former loan star Christian Atsu as the club re-enter the top flight.

In other Newcastle news, Benitez is set to omit this 2015/16 mainstay from his 25-man squad.

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